My dog is with me. Loyal. By my side.
I’ve created a routine for myself.
I make black tea in the morning with a spoonful of milk. And sit by the river.
It is moving quickly this time of year. Aided by a little melting snow on the mountains.
I see the river as an army of grey soldiers racing past my house. Racing wildly in full retreat. From what, I am not quite sure.
There are two bald eagles that fly drone-like along its banks, looking, I suppose, for an errant mouse or surface trout. I know they are…
The place defined you.
You became the person that lived in that place.
I chose NYC. Had a tiny midtown apartment on the third floor of a hypnotist’s office. Worked in the Pan Am building where you were assigned morning start times so that there weren’t too many people on the escalators. Worked in advertising when it was a creative business and women were allowed to break the glass ceilings.
We worked late, hit the clubs, ate Chinese, shopped excessively and spent every cent we earned.
I loved it. I was a New Yorker.
It seems different now.
I might be under the tousled covers in the bedroom at the end of the hall on the left. Waking to see the girl I was at seventeen. Sitting at the end of the bed.
Or I might be in the portico having my morning coffee with my dog. Who will eventually turn, look at me and say, “I have loved you. You have been a good friend.”
My shoes are in the garden but I am not there.
I might be at my desk in the studio writing to you. Telling you that I am uncertain. …
It’s basically a commitment to celebrating time outdoors. No matter what the forecast.
In Norway it is said that there is no bad weather. Just bad clothes. It’s sort of a mantra. But in their language it rhymes and sounds better.
And it’s not just Norway. Friluftsliv is popular throughout Scandinavia.
Much like “ hygge “, an originally Danish term, which is its indoor, feel-good counterpart.
A lot of companies give employees ninety minutes a week for outdoor exercise. They feel it’s part of the culture. There are tax breaks for companies that incentivize friluftsliv. …
Handmade for him by a teacher along the campaign trail.
I’m glad he did that. It was cold. There were snow flurries.
Plus he’s a Vermont boy.
He became a social media sensation in his big, handmade mittens.
More than Lady Gaga’s red Schiaparelli. J.Lo’s all-white Chanel. And Ella Emhoff’s bejeweled Miu Miu coat.
Bernie’s mittens trumped them all.
And not just because of the unique fashion statement. It was the chatter about what it meant politically. What he was saying.
And not saying.
I personally think he was just being Bernie. The mittens made sense.
I’ve always worn mittens.
No one wants to hear that you’ve gotten your vaccine.
It’s cutthroat out there.
We’re all competing against each other. Everyone wants to be first to score an appointment. Or first to the registration line. Or first to find out where the registration line is forming.
Dog eat dog.
And if you’re not computer savvy you’re really screwed. You have to enlist a thirty-something to come to your aid. And live at your house.
I know there are consultants working outside the system to get people registered. I just know it. Earning big bucks I’ll bet.
And there’s the whole…
The pandemic will end.
But I’m still not done with my quarantine to-do list. And time is getting shorter.
I started this list last march.
It contains all that one can imagine doing when the world is shut down and you are left to your own devices. With no expectations.
This is a unique opportunity for pure inactivity.
My first plan was to sit in all the rooms of my house. Just sit there and be very quiet. And eventually look around.
In the guest room, I am obviously not me. I am a guest of me. Awake at midnight…
The store you love to go to because it has unexpected things. Things you have yet to discover. Things that inspire you. A store you wander through like a personal museum. Mittens from Finland. Local pottery with leather handles. Fuzzy mauve scarves with big stitches. Cards with berries stuck on them. Packets of juniper seeds.
If you buy me a gift, I want you to feel a rush of discovery in the finding. I want the gift to be something that speaks to how you see me. Something you suspect I’ll be curious about. Something, perhaps, I’ve never considered.
My daughter phones me.
It is the first of December.
“I couldn’t sleep last night”, she tells me. “I think my body knows what time of year it is.”
She is right. I feel it too.
You see it in the trees. They are grey now. Wooden totems. Fading into silent concert with the barren bushes surrounding them.
The leaves have all fallen. Shoved to the roadside. Brown. Not orange.
The grass is stubby. A confusion of roots and weeds and mud.
The sun will set just after four.
We lost him in December. Her brother. My son.
I think we could be friends. She has regular friends…right?
She must. She’s a teacher. Was seen grading papers on the campaign bus. Is talking about continuing to work while in the White House.
I hope she does that. She might be the first.
But really… I was thinking about if I awoke this morning and discovered I was first lady.
First…I’d have to be dressed up all the time. Even now. During COVID.
I couldn’t wear sweats and a tee shirt. Too many people around. I’d have to appear “put together”. Make an impression. …